Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Loon poems

Last summer I took part in Maine Audubon's Loon Productivity study, then (and again this spring) taking a two hour paddle every three or four days to hang out with the loons, see what they are up to, what is stressing them, to watch and listen, and also to hang out with geese, turtles, osprey, eagles, beaver, lichens and other friends around the lake.
My friend the painter/poet Stephen Petroff says that he is trying to paint the contents of his heart. In a poem 20 years ago I wrote that, like loons, we sometimes "dive under/dive under and/come up somewhere else." These little fragments come from paddling, and diving under, the contents of my heart.

i
wild roses down
to the water
one loon alone
northeast of the island
cedarscent

ii
bright daylily line
high on a hill
across the lake
oak breeze shoreline
trees, osprey
on Loon Island, again
watching, watching
loon calls
off to the east

iii
train whistle breeze
through trees and
beaver down no
loons around

iv
water lily or
loon white
on the water both
bright
flowers flowers
on the surface of
this world

v
loons take our love
into the lake
hello hello
which is the
real world water
in all this darkness
the loons calling
goodnight goodnight
i love you

vi
every night now
i listen for loons
to hear their voices
to leave this body
to return to stars

vii

(Belfast)
at the bridge
there are loons, swimming
these are my friends now
i have moved
away from this water
every night now
the loons
singing
everything solid
disappears


viii
last night, in the moonlight
at least three loons
voices in the distance
beyond the edge of darkness


ix
voices
through the night
through trees, fields
moon light
voices through moonlight
loons over
water through
the night

x
to be in the company of
these trees, these grasses
these rocks, this water
these birds
hello hello we
finish each other's
sentience

xi
siren on the highway
geese calling I'm
lashed to the mast

xii
pollen covered lake
3 loons,together, these
holy places, behind the islands

xiii
rockground north of the island
loons in sundown light
voices, across the water
wind blowing smoke

xiv
floating Deep Cove silence
we all dissolve, in shimmering -
and I learn that light
is alive.

xv
dragonflies, calm water, loons.
you tear a hole in the world,
take away the wind -
no words, there are
no words, just
water

xvi
two loons, before twilight
slipping away, into night
turtlesplash

xvii
wet granite
mallard flies by
close to the surface


xviii
august becoming september
one loon calls
in the middle of the night

ixx
pollen line on lake edge
wild iris, turtles and loons
paddling into birdsong
first day of summer


gary lawless

4 comments:

Matthew said...

That's a great line, Gary--"We finish each other's sentience." I enjoyed your loon poems--when does the Loon Productivity Study end?

Mandy said...

Thank you. Needed to read these words, today, at this moment.

Inga said...

Thank you. I have been looking for poems about these loons that I so adore. Yours is the best I have found! Would you be willing to share the rest of that poem that you quoted, the one that you wrote 20 years ago?

Lady Sophia's Lover said...

Come nightingale, tell me the word.
The mountain from which you came is blessed.
The rose burns you, my love burns me.
You are crying, I will also cry

Thanks.